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I have been going back and forth about whether or not to tell my mom that she has to move to a memory care unit. Her small studio apartment will be ready and I am picking up the key today. Her doctor says that I should tell her to let her get used to the idea. Mom always forgets the conversations we have had about this issue. I have strongly suggest it to her and one day she will say yes and the next day it's a no. I only have the weekend to tell her (or not). I feel so bad because I don't want to upset her. I am curious to know how others feel.

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Hi Hugemom,

Thanks for your comments! I did end up telling her but I had to fib a bit. My friend and went over the memory care unit and learned that a bigger apartment was available at no extra charge and we were really impressed. The apartment has double windows in the living room and bedroom that look out into the courtyard, which I'm sure that Mom will love. The fib was offered by the Administrator and after we left there, we went directly to my mom's house and told her that her roof needed to be replaced and that she had to move because they wouldn't start the work with her in the house. Mom wasn't pleased but agreed to go, since it was an apartment and not an "old people home". Move in date is coming up this next Thursday and the staff told me that they would take care of everything if she asks any questions or gets suspicious. I am certain that my mom will eventually forget that she has a home to go back to and will get used to living in a memory care unit. I'll try to keep everyone posted. What a great website this is!
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My mom went to a facility from the hospital so there were no heart to heart convos between us. Yes, she was angry. She blamed me. She laid many guilt trips on me. And the next day she was nice as pie. Make sure Mom has many familiar things in her new place, including bedding, couch cushions, and all the little chachkes she wants. My mother wasn't happy unless she was unhappy so I didn't take many of her things because she'd break them or throw them out. There is no easy way to move your mom. If you do tell her, don't make it a tragic and traumatic conversation. Tell her this place is SO NICE that you yourself would like to live there. How nice it will be for both of you to know she is safe and well cared for...that kind of stuff. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
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Do keep us posted, coralmae. We've all been through it. And, yes, eventually she will get used to her new home. But, always take time to spend with her and take her on outings. My mom used to get a lot of enjoyment traveling with me to a laundromat in another town to help with her laundry. Yes, the nursing home could have done the laundry, but it was one of the things we could do together, until the last two months of her life (she died 6/2/2017). Your mom might have other interests. Spend as much time with her as possible, and always be kind and loving, even when she is not. You have begun a journey. It will not always be easy. But, you can do it. Hang in there.
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My married couple friends who gave me POA over all their health care and finances did not think they had to leave their town home--at least the husband didn't. His wife, with frontal temporal dementia couldn't think much at all. But when she became incontinent and started to wander out of their town home, she needed 24 hour care and it was time to move. The husband agreed to this 4 times and each time forgot all about it. The day of the move, another friend took them to breakfast in a nearby town and then to have their nails done. That was when we did the move to a one-bedroom apartment in a memory care unit. We made their bedroom just like in their town home, and used the living room for their TV and couch just like they had in their TV room. When they got there around 2:30 in the afternoon and the husband saw his same recliner, same TV, couch, table and lamps set up the same way it had been in their town home, he sat down with a sigh of relief and never once talked about going back. It is a place that pays attention to their needs and gives me advice on what's next as the forgetting process plays out. The wife only lasted about 5 months before her brain was just shutting down and she could no longer swallow food. The husband is physically healthy, gets checked by a visiting doctor once a month, but just can't remember things from one minute to the next. He is still intelligent and long term memories (without too much detail) are still there and he is happy to be where he is. I don't involve him in the behind the scenes work I do in getting their town home ready to sell. I will just put the money in his savings account to help cover his expenses. I am also the executor of their will, so I know what their intentions are if any money is left over. The husband has no desire to go anywhere, but I take him to the dentist and eye doctor for his regular appointments and then for coffee and a treat at our favorite book store. He had no desire to do any more than that. I am relieved that he is happy and well looked after. What more could I ask for?
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You know your mom best. No offense to Digital Banker but that approach would not and did not work with my mom. I wish I could of been upfront with her, but my mom never accepted her dementia diagnosis. In her mind, she was absolutely fine. I was the problem not her. If I could of have reasoned with her, it would have made things so much easier.

Before the dementia, I would ask my mom, what she would want if things turned for the worse. I begged her for 20 years to make a plan. She refused, all she would say was "well see, I trust you will do the right thing".   So I did the best I could

When the time came to move her in a memory care unit. I tricked her. I didn't want to, but it was the only way. You will feel bad, she will get angry, but she will forget. My mom has been in memory care for little over a year. She thinks she is living in her hometown as a girl, she has no idea she lives in a memory care unit. It is sad.

If your mom has lost her logic and reasoning skills, you may have to trick her. If she hasn't, than say a little white lie, this is the place we talked about earlier and you are going to stay here for awhile. We told mom she was staying at the AL facility while were traveling out of town.  It didn't really work, because she didn't understand why.  In her mind, she was fine and could live on her own.  Good Luck, its never easy.
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Hi, Coralmae,
I'm glad that your mom can be convinced to stay in the new apartment. I guess my mom and I started off on the wrong foot when I had her transferred directly from the hospital to the skilled facility. However, this was the way it had to be for us. She was a very dramatic person and suffering from dementia with all its delusions and hallucinations. She lived in a top floor apartment with a balcony. I lived in fear that she would harm herself one day. There was no convincing her she had to move. She would decide how things had to be and the impenetrable steel doors would close on her mind. I'm glad gentle fibs work on your mom. It must have made it easier for you. I disagree with the "family meeting" idea. It sounds like an intervention and your mom would feel bombarded by everyone. I think the way you're doing it is the best way. For the first few months, visit often and encourage others to as well if you can trust them to keep the mood light and to be firm with Mom that this is the way it needs to be. And also trust the staff to help mom accustom herself to her new situation. Good luck!
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Hi Coralmae,

There's a lot of good advise here, so I'm just going to add my 2 cents worth.

I would also talk to the social worker who works in the memory care unit of the Assisted Living your mom is going to move to. I'm sure that person will help both you and your mom make this transition easier.

I agree with Granjan. I'm in a Bible study group with a CNA who works in a memory care unit. He *really* appreciated it when family members 'treated' those who provided daily care. Working in a memory care unit is difficult and often thankless work. When you treat staff well, especially those who provide daily care to your loved one, they remember. My friend worked at a family owned Assisted Living that has a reputation for treating staff *very* well. Even so, the hours are long and the pay isn't that great. As you get to know the daily care workers, you'll figure out what would be appreciated. Also, get to know the families of the other residents and encourage them to do the same.

Good Luck,
DoN
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If your mom is still thinking fairly well with most of her problems being memory related, I would tell her but I would also write a letter explaining why she needs memory care, telling her about her new apartment and how her stuff will be there, maybe photos and anything else that she seemed to find comfort in when you discuss this issue. I occasionally have to travel and leave my Mom with a relative. This doesn't seem to bother her at all when she has my letter explaining where she is, who she's with, why she's there, how to contact me if she needs to and when I will be picking her up. My relative tells me she reads the letter several times each day.
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If you think this will upset her, I would not. It doesn't really matter what the care unit is called - as long as your Mom is being lovingly cared for and her disabilities are addressed properly. This is my opinion of course.
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After having cared for my mom in my home for a little over a year, i reached the point where I recognized that I didn't have the skills to continue her care as her dementia had progressed. I knew that she would not go to a facility voluntarily. And I knew that I could not force her. But I did my homework and found a very nice facility that specialized in Memory care and Parkinson's. Plus, it was affordable. It had a cozy, home-like feel. Her room had a somewhat spacious bathroom. The shower had a fold-down bench seat. Her living area was a smaller room which we used as her "living room" with a TV and seating and a slightly larger area that we used as her bedroom. I furnished her rooms with new and used items. When it came time to make the big move, I brought along an inflatable mattress and spent the first 4 days and 3 nights with her in her room. I believe that this was a huge help not only for her transition, but it also gave me confidence in the character and abilities of the caregivers who worked there. And they also got to see that I was keeping a loving eye out for my mom. I never would have known that a pair of caregivers would come into her room around midnight to check on her and make sure she was still dry or change her if she was wet. The transition went surprisingly well and I continued visiting her once a day almost every day of the week for the first few months. After that I would take a few days "off" here and there.
So I guess my recommendation would be to prepare well in advance for the big move and do all the little things that might help it be less traumatic for her. As far as telling your mom goes, only you would know what her reaction would be. Sometimes it's best not to say. At least that's how it worked for us.
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